To Be Happier, Help Others (But Don't Wear Yourself Out!)
A recent study from Holland shows that people who provide six hours a week or less of caregiving — who voluntarily help out sick family, friends or acquaintances — are happier than non-caregivers. But not if they overdo it.
Care-giving for 11 or more hours a week was linked to lower levels of happiness, the researchers found.
Bottom line: When you're giving to others, heed Step 3 to happiness as described in my July 12, 2012 newsletter: Pay attention to what feels good to you, and only help others when it feels good to do so. Selflessness can lead to healthlessness!
"Are informal caregivers less happy than noncaregivers? Happiness and the intensity of caregiving in combination with paid and voluntary work." van Campen C, et al, Scand J Caring Sci. 2012 May 10. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2012.00998.x. [Epub ahead of print]
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